A Guide To Planning Your Trout Fly Fishing Adventure in Tasmania

September 20, 2021

Understanding Tasmania's seasons and how they impact fly fishing opportunities.

There is no question that weather is the biggest impacting factor when fly fishing in Tasmania.

Weather conditions dictate many of the aspects required for a successful trip, including:

  • location;
  • water type;
  • trout fly fishing method; and
  • fly selection.

Having an understanding of when different fly fishing 'events' occur in Tasmania will give you the best possible chance of planning the trout fly fishing trip of a lifetime and experiencing some of the best fishing anywhere in the world.

At Trout Tales, we can also assist you with all aspects of planning a fly fishing trip to Tasmania including accommodation, catering, transport and itineraries.

As a handy guide or reference, we have broken the year down into a few sections and outlined what you can expect to find during each of these periods...

Trout Fly Fishing: August to September

Opening of the trout season and ‘early season’ months.

Weather

Cold temperatures with snow and ice common around the Highlands. Lowland temperatures are much milder and more settled.

Fishing Overview
No insect hatches are seen highland areas, making opportunities for dry fly fishing almost impossible. Lowland areas often start to see mayfly hatches late in September. Excellent numbers of fish are caught on streamer patterns and woolly buggers with sinking lines cast from a drifting boat (often referred to as loch style fishing) or shore-based casting small wet flies around flooded lake margins searching for 'tailing' trout feeding on baitfish in the shallows.

Given the common adverse weather patterns in the highlands at this time of year, trips to lowland lakes are common, and these produce some great fishing in milder temperatures. Access to private fisheries also ensures there is always somewhere to get out on the water and find some great opportunities. 

Angler Notes

Anglers of all experience can have fantastic results at this time of the year, however the ability to cast a good length of line, generally casting weighted lines and flies, will assist greatly in success rates.

Trout Fly Fishing: October to November 

Mid-Season and the beginning of the hatches.

Weather:

Temperatures begin to increase and rain, and snow become less likely in the highlands opening up a larger range of fly fishing opportunities.

Fishing Overview:

Generally the biggest ‘fish catching’ months due to the sudden abundance of food sources for the trout. In the highlands, depending on the day, fish can be targeted with wet, dry or nymph flies. Mayfly are more prevalent giving opportunities for dry fly and nymph fishing and early season food sources are still abundant, making the wet fly fishing outstanding.  

With the mayfly hatches comes sight fishing opportunities. Spotting cruising trout from the boat or wading the shallows produces some of the best action for the season.

The river fly fishing begins to improve across these months as the lowland small streams and rivers also begin to fish well with dropping river levels. A combination of dry and nymph fishing produces many successful days on the river at this stage of the season. 

Angler Notes:

Most anglers will have the ability to catch a fish in these months, however casting accurately becomes more important when dry fly and nymph fishing and this will increase catch rates on most days.  

Trout Fly Fishing: December to February 

The peak of dry fly and sight fishing on the lakes and rivers across the state.

Weather:

Generally bright and warm conditions with prolonged settled weather patterns. 

Fishing Overview:

Warm weather brings sight fishing opportunities in the highlands on most days, with bright conditions ideal for polaroiding and overcast conditions producing huge mayfly hatches.

This stage of the season is all about dry fly fishing. Predominately fishing from a drifting boat or wading shallow lake margins scanning for cruising trout, generally casting to rising trout feeding on a range of hatching insects.

On the highland lakes, mayfly hatches, midge, beetles and damselflies see large numbers of trout feeding on the surface, producing exciting sight fishing on the majority of days. On the rivers, water flows are ideal and grasshoppers and other large terrestrial insects mean the trout are in search of large dry flies   

Angler Notes:

Trout can become difficult to catch during this time as bright weather prevails, making accurate and subtle casting a must.

Fly fishing in Tasmania in March to April

The 'late season' months.

Weather:

Generally still warm days, with occasional cooler days starting to appear. Weather patterns can vary from year to year during this time.

Fishing Overview:

As temperatures begin to cool and mayfly hatches on the lakes slow, poloroiding for fish becomes more of a focus, allowing a more targeted approach. Still some great dry fly and sight fishing to be experienced on the right days. A combination of dry fly and nymph fishing is usually seen during this period and often fish are less selective in their feeding patterns, making fly selection less important.

If high temperatures continue during March, water temperature can become too high for the trout in the highland lakes, making river fishing more appealing on fine weather days in rivers where flows are not too low. Good numbers of fish rising to grasshoppers and smaller mayfly can be found.

All brown trout waters close at the end of April for the annual spawning ritual of the trout. As this draws closer, fish become aggressive, and their feeding patterns can be sporadic. However this behaviour can play to the anglers favour, with well-placed flies usually taken with gusto.  

Angler Notes:

When fishing from a drifting boat at this time of the year, casting accuracy is not as crucial but ability tocast a good length of line will be advantageous. Good casting accuracy isimportant when presenting to rising trout on the small streams and rivers.

Trout Fly Fishing: May to July

The ‘off season’ and trout spawning period.

Weather:

Winter kicks in over this time and temperatures in the highlands plummet with frost and snow again common. Lowland temperatures remain slightly better.

Fishing Overview:

Most waters are closed for the trout spawning season which greatly reduces fly fishing options. Access to some fantastic private fisheries gives us the opportunity to still have some fantastic days out on the water and this is great time to brush up on your casting and learn different techniques.

Generally wading and fishing wet flies to target any hungry fish searching around the weed beds, we still see some great fish caught throughout this time of the year

Angler Notes:

Ability to cast a reasonable distance will assist, however this is a good time for beginners and those looking to brush up on their technique to prepare for the new season opening in August.

A Guide To Planning Your Trout Fly Fishing Adventure in Tasmania

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